After this (it’s a digby link), I can’t defend Politico anymore, even though I thought John Harris did a great job when he was at Kaplan and that Ben Smith and the Politico-late Michael Calderone have run good blogs at Politico:
VandeHei: Let’s not forget where this thing started. The NAACP came out and makes this charge against the Tea Party Movement. And we’ve probably done more stories about the Tea party movement than any other news organization. We’ve really tried to study this group and they are a very diffuse group. You cannot say that they are racist any more than you can say the Democratic party is racist or the Republican party is racist. So it creates this culture and it’s a dangerous topic and it’s a dangerous fire to light and so this is the outcome.
Ratigan: But, but …
VandeHei: I’m not defending Breitbart. But conservatives are outraged. They’re saying listen, because I’m part of the tea party movement, you’re saying I’m racist, and what Breitbart’s saying is “well I want to push back.”
I’m not saying what Breitbart said was right because clearly it wasn’t right and the outcome was awful for this woman, but both sides I think come off looking very, very bad.
I happen to agree with the NAACP charge that the Tea Party
is racist harbors racist elements. I understand the arguments against the charge, though, and let’s say for the purpose of argument that one thinks the charge is bullshit. On what planet does that justify pushing an edited tape that almost destroyed the career of a federal employee who happens to be black?
I know, I know, I should just be thankful they haven’t told us what Bill Cosby thinks about all of this.